S H A F A G H is the Persian word for twilight.
To photographer Klaartje Lambrechts, it’s a clear metaphor for Iranian society, and a beautiful title for her exhibition on dance and movement in Iran.
For the creation of Shafagh, Klaartje Lambrechts traveled to Iran three times between 2015 and 2019. She discovered a country with strict laws but unlimited possibilities.
Many of those possibilities are created in a large gray zone, lacking clear boundaries.
A twilight zone between what is allowed and what is possible; between what catches the eye and what remains hidden.
In the fall of 2019 on her third trip, she traveled with two dancers from Teheran, Masoumeh and Ali to the desert areas of Dasht-e Lut and Busher, in southern Iran. After the stifling bustle of Tehran, the photographer sought the desolate atmosphere of the awesome desert landscape. She made a conceptual series on sand dunes, rocks and salt flats.
The bodies of the dancers disappear in the fabrics that surround them.
They explore, they struggle, they test their extensibility. Captured on camera, their contours become sculptures in the vast desert landscape, solidified movement in which the dynamics and the tension are still contained. The series are a wonderful image of dance and movement in Iran, and a beautiful metaphor for contemporary Iranian society, in which the same kind of tension is constantly being felt. The fabrics limit the dancers. At the same time, they offer protection to the outside eye. Inside they do what they want, they explore boundaries. The tissues are a layer between people and the world.